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The Mastering of a Music City Summit at CMW 2019: Recap

On Saturday May 11th, Music Canada held its fourth annual Music Cities Summit during Canadian Music Week. This year’s summit was hosted in partnership with the Music Policy Forum, and the event featured a plethora of local and international speakers who gathered to discuss issues regarding the value of music and its relationship to creative city-planning.

            Pictured here: Sarah Hashem (Grant W. Martin Photography)

The morning kicked off with opening remarks from Music Canada’s Vice-President of Strategic Initiatives Sarah Hashem, as well as remarks from Ashlye Keaton of the Music Policy Forum.

         Pictured here: Chris Campbell (Grant W. Martin Photography)

The keynote address was given by Chris Campbell, Director of Culture & Entertainment Tourism and Tourism London. Campbell spoke about the journey to get Canadian music’s biggest milestone to London, Ontario: the JUNO Awards.

As Chair of the JUNOs host committee, Campbell worked with a team to pitch London as the right home for the awards in 2019. He discussed how the city was a bit of an underdog in the selection process as it was much smaller than many of the cities that have hosted the JUNOs in the past. Campbell also outlined the steps the team took to successfully stage a series of live music events throughout JUNO Week across London.

 

Pictured here: Ana Bailão, Mirik Milan, Kate Becker (Grant W. Martin Photography)

Chris Campbell’s illuminating keynote presentation was followed by a fascinating conversation on the intersection between the nighttime economy and music strategies. This immersive discussion took place between Mirik Milan, the first Night Mayor of Amsterdam; Kate Becker, the former Director of the Seattle Office of Film + Music; and Toronto City Councillor Ana Bailão, who has long been a champion for locally based projects in the arts space.

The trio discussed the economic and social benefits of having a thriving night time economy, and Councillor Bailão emphasized how a city’s vibrancy is enhanced by having a strong community of artists and musicians living, working, and creating.

Pictured here: Dominique Grant, Charlie Wall-Andrews, Kanika Gupta, Amy Terrill (Grant W. Martin Photography)

The next session examined the topic of inclusivity and diversity in the context of a music city. Amy Terrill introduced the keynote video, given by Mark Roach of Recorded Music New Zealand. In the video, Roach spoke about the efforts taken by his city of Auckland to ensure that the Māori language and culture was given proper respect, and incorporated into their music strategy and policies.

The panel component of the session then commenced, moderated by Charlie Wall-Andrews. In addition to serving as the Executive Director of the SOCAN Foundation, Wall-Andrews was also selected as the Vice-Chair of Music Canada’s recently instituted Advisory Council. Joining her on stage was artist and creator Domanique Grant and Kanika Gupta, an artist and social innovator. The discussion ranged from steps organizers can take to ensure that their events are inclusionary in nature, to how cities can ensure the the foundation of their music strategies provide support for segments of the music community that may be traditionally underrepresented.

Participants in ‘the ‘Hypothetical’ session on DIY Music Spaces and the City

For many, the highlight of the Music Cities Summit was the session exploring the topic of DIY music spaces, and their relation to the cities they reside in. Inspired by an event hosted by Melbourne Music Week in 2018, this innovative session was based on a hypothetical scenario: in a fictional city, a beloved underground music venue has just been forced to close. The reaction on social media has been swift. A local artist posts on social media how disappointed they are – this is the venue they got their start at. A public backlash ensues. As the days pass, more information regarding how and why this venue shut down becomes available, making the situation even more complex.

The session was hosted by Darlene Tonelli, founder of Inter Alia law and member of Music Canada’s Advisory Council, who guided the room through this exercise as they collectively worked through the twists and turns of this social dilemma. The session featured a ‘panel,’ composed of key stakeholders including artists, DIY venue operators and promoters, City officials, music industry professionals, and fans. As the scenario developed, they were called upon to offer their insight and expertise, and describe their course of action at critical flashpoints of the scenario.

Session participants included: Ian Swain (Bonjay); Brian Wong (Gingy, ‘It’s not U It’s Me’); Said Yassin (‘It’s OK’); Kwende Kefentse (Memetic, City of Ottawa); April Aliermo (Hooded Fang, Phedre); Erin Benjamin (CLMA); Toronto City Councillor Joe Cressy; Cory Crossman (City of London’s Music Development Officer); Kate Becker (City of Seattle); Rod Jones (Director of Bylaw Enforcement, Municipal Licensing & Standards); Mark Garner (Downtown Yonge BIA); Errol Nazareth (CBC’s Big City, Small World); Tracy Jenkins (Lula Lounge); Shaun Bowring (Garrison, Baby G); Gavin Le Ber. 

After a networking lunch, the afternoon kicked off with an engaging panel that explored the topic of music incubators and co-working spaces. Moderated by Sarah Hashem – Music Canada’s Vice President, Strategic Initiatives – the session featured input from some fantastic panelists: Chris Corless, Founding Partner at Toronto’s Signal Creative Community; Toni Morgan, founder of the Beat Academy; and Mustafa El Amin, founder and Executive Director of MyStand Mentorship and NorthBlock Entertainment. 

The conversation highlighted how creative incubators and hubs can help artists gain access to resources and support that they otherwise might not have the opportunity to. The panelists went on outline the various ways that new models of co-working can help level the playing field for creators – particularly young and emerging artists and producers.

 

The next session examined how to effectively build a coalition when developing a music city. A keynote presentation was given by Erin Benjamin, the CEO of the Canadian Live Music Association, and took a deeper look at the organization’s successful first five years. The session then moved into a panel discussion, moderated by Michael Bracy of the Music Policy Forum. Participants included Katherine Carleton, Executive Director of Orchestras Canada; Cody Cowan, founder and Executive Director or Red River Cultural District in Austin; and Katie Tuten, co-founder of Chicago music venue The Hideout.

This year, the Music Cities Summit also featured two exciting ‘Masterclass’ sessions. These interactive, discussion-based seminars allowed the speakers to interact directly with participants in the room, often answering questions and offering direct advice based on their extensive experience in the music city world.

The first Masterclass was entitled ‘Strategy Development – Back to Basics’. Leading this in-depth conversation were four practitioners in this space: Mike Tanner, Toronto’s Music Sector Development Officer; Jarrett Martinaeu, Cultural Planner from the City of Vancouver; the City of Ottawa’s Kwende Kefentse; and Maryann Lombardi, Chief Creative Economy Officer at the DC Office of Cable, Film, Music and Entertainment.

The second Masterclass featured cutting-edge research from two major players in the music city field. Amsterdam’s Mirik Milan – who spoke about the research being conducted at Creative Footprint, a global civic initiative that measures and indexes creative space – and Peter Schwarz of Sound Music Cities, who took the attendees through his organization’s work implementing their Austin Music Census method in Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Seattle, and Washington, DC.

Pictured here: Ashlye Keaton, Leah Ross, Chris Campbell, MP Michael Barrett (Grant W. Martin Photography)

The last session of the day was a spotlight on the impact and benefits of music tourism for a city. The panel was moderated by Ashlye Keaton (the Ella Project; Music Policy Forum), and featured opening remarks by MP Michael Barrett (Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes). MP Barrett also participated in the panel discussion, alongside London’s Chris Campbell and Leah Ross, the Executive Director of the non-profit Birthplace of Country Music.

The panel explored questions related to how a city can make sure its music tourism is authentic to  the city, has an economic impact, balances the needs of residents, and – ultimately – benefits the artists who help drive this attraction.

The day ended with a post-summit reception at the co-working space Signal Creative Community, hosted by the City of Toronto. Mayor John Tory also attended and provided some insightful remarks highlighting the benefits of municipal support for music, touching on some of the recent exciting achievements in Toronto.

Thanks to all those who participated and attended Music Canada’s fourth annual ‘Mastering of a Music Cities Summit’.

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The ‘Mastering of a Music City Summit’: Saturday, May 11th 2019

Music Canada’s fourth annual The Mastering of a Music City Summit is returning to Canadian Music Week. This exciting full-day event is being held on Saturday, May 11th 2019 at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto.

The summit this year is being hosted in partnership with the Music Policy Forum. The event will feature a plethora of local and international speakers, and will bring together policy-makers, industry executives, City staff and music community members to explore issues around the value of music and its relationship to creative city-planning.

Some of the themes and topics of the day include:

  • Inclusivity, equity and diversity in the context of a music city
  • The intersection between the night-time economy and developing music strategies
  • Underground music venues, and their relationship to the city
  • The value of music tourism to a city
  • Exploring co-working spaces/incubators, and how they level the playing field for artists
  • Building successful coalitions in the music community

Register for this exciting event, and check out the full program agenda to learn more about the full conference.

Click here to see full recaps of last year’s summit.

 

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JUNO Awards 2019: How Music Canada is working to strengthen Canada’s music ecosystem

JUNO Awards week is here and Music Canada is gearing up for another spectacular few days celebrating Canadian music with our friends and partners in the music community.

Last year at the JUNOS we showcased how our advocacy work benefits artists at every stage of their career with our #EveryStage campaign. This year, we aim to highlight the ways we’re working to improve the music ecosystem in Canada. With the support of our members, Sony, Universal and Warner, we’re committed to building a framework where music businesses can thrive, and artists can have sustainable and prosperous careers.

Five major areas in which we are working to create a better Canadian music ecosystem are:

  • Improving Policy Frameworks,
  • Addressing the Value Gap,
  • Diversity and Inclusion,
  • Music Cities, and
  • Celebrating Success.

 

IMPROVING POLICY FRAMEWORKS

Music Canada President and CEO Graham Henderson testifies before the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology

A major pillar of Music Canada’s mandate is advocating for a functioning marketplace where music creators are paid fairly every time their work is used.

Copyright is the bedrock of remuneration for the creators of recorded music. It enables them to receive payment when their recordings are copied or played in public, including on the Internet. In the age of streaming, it’s vital that copyright legislation and institutions be adaptive and responsive so musicians and labels are paid whenever their work is commercialized by others. 

Some of the ways that we’re working to strengthen copyright and boost investment in music are: successfully championing reforms to the Copyright Board of Canada that will make the Board’s processes faster, more efficient, and more predictable; calling for the elimination of copyright exemptions that syphon value away from music, and; encouraging provincial government investment in regional music economies, such as the BC Music Fund and Ontario Music Fund.

 

ADDRESSING THE VALUE GAP

Music Canada has been a global leader in researching the Value Gap – its origins, the economic toll, and practical solutions the Government of Canada can implement to help fix the problem. Throughout the government’s current review of the Copyright Act, numerous music community representatives testifying before government committees referenced our report, The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-in-Canada Approach, and presented the same four recommendations to government. It was abundantly clear that the Value Gap is a real phenomenon that is hurting creators and that it needs to be addressed. Its harm is felt across the music community – everyone from publishers and composers, to labels, and especially artists, are at a disadvantage because of outdated copyright legislation.

Because artists are the motor that drives the music industry, and the storytellers that music fans fall in love with, they are best equipped to communicate the serious and erosive effects the Value Gap is having on their careers, their economic livelihoods, and the wider music community.

Music Canada is committed to supporting artist advocacy, because their stories truly resonate with the public and political decision-makers. We do this through support for discussions at music conferences, economic forums, and spreading the voices of artist advocates at our events and in our reports.

 

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

Dr Stacy L. Smith at the 2018 Global Forum

In 2017, Music Canada embarked on an exhaustive organizational review to provide recommendations on ways we could demonstrate leadership in inclusion and good governance. At our annual Playback event in October 2018, we announced preliminary results of this review, including the addition of two new independent member positions on our Board of Directors to bring representation of women on our Board to 40%. We look forward to announcing further details on ways we’re working to reflect the exquisite mosaic that is our Canadian music community in the coming days.

Bringing measurable inclusivity and accountability for the music industry was the topic of one of our major annual events in 2018 called the Global Forum at Canadian Music Week. We were proud to host Dr. Stacy L. Smith of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, the leading think tank in the world studying issues of diversity and inequality in entertainment. Dr. Smith pioneered the now popular “Inclusion Rider,” and at the Global Forum, spoke to her organization’s research into inclusion in the music industry.

During JUNOS Weekend 2019, we’re pleased to be supporting CARAS’ Allies in Action event, focusing on action undertaken or underway in the Canadian music community to create safer and more inclusive workplaces and environments for industry members, artists and music fans.

 

MUSIC CITIES

The 2018 Music Cities Summit at CMW

Since the publication of our 2012 report Accelerating Toronto’s Music Industry Growth, Leveraging Best Practices from Austin, Texas, Music Canada has become an internationally renowned source for research into policies municipalities can implement, and actions they can take to activate the full potential of their music economies. Our leadership in Music Cities was further cemented with the publication of our groundbreaking The Mastering of a Music City report in 2015.

Since the release of these reports, we’ve seen phenomenal traction in Canadian cities like Smithers, Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and 2019 JUNO Awards host city London. These cities have all formulated an official music strategy, and some have established a music office, or officer position, within their municipality.

In addition to presenting our research at Music Cities events across the globe , Music Canada will host its third annual Music Cities Summit at Canadian Music Week in May of 2019. Look out for details on the 2019 Music Cities Summit, including featured speakers and other program elements in the coming weeks.

 

CELEBRATING SUCCESS

Jessie Reyez receives a Double Platinum plaque with the Universal Music Canada team

Music Canada is proud to return as a sponsor of the Album of the Year category, as well as the Presenting Sponsor of the Chair’s and Welcome Reception on Friday, March 15. With our sponsorship of the category and continued partnership with the JUNO Awards, we join music fans across the country in celebrating the works from this year’s nominees – Hubert Lenoir, Jann Arden, Shawn Mendes, The Weeknd, and Three Days Grace – and congratulate the dedicated label and production teams involved with each release.

Throughout the year, we also join fans in celebrating their favourite artists’ first certification milestones to a lifetime’s worth of achievements with our historic Gold/Platinum program, which was launched in 1975 to celebrate milestone sales of music in Canada. Today, artists can receive new certifications for the combined sales and stream equivalents of their singles and albums, and are often surprised with a tangible recognition of national success by their labels’ devoted teams. Certifications are shared on our Gold/Platinum Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts, and the latest Gold certifications are added to our #GoldinCanada playlist every Thursday.

Music Canada also presents two awards, our President’s Award and Artist Advocate Award, during Playback, our annual industry dialogue and celebration. So far, artists Miranda Mulholland (2017) and Loreena McKennitt (2018) have been honoured with the Artist Advocate Award in recognition of their outstanding advocacy efforts to improve the livelihoods of music creators. Meanwhile, the President’s Award, which is presented to an individual working outside the music community who displays a deep passion for music and the people who make it, has been received by Music Cities champions including former Toronto City Councillor Josh Colle (2018), and co-recipients Cory Crossman, London Music Industry Development Officer, and Chris Campbell, Director of Culture and Entertainment Tourism at Tourism London, who were instrumental in bringing the JUNOS to London this weekend for the very first time.

 

A full rundown of JUNOS Week events is available on the JUNO Awards website. Tickets to The 2019 JUNO Awards Broadcast are available online at budweisergardens.com, by phone at 1-866-455-2849 and in-person at the Courtesy Ford Box Office at Budweiser Gardens (Located at Gate 1).

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City of Toronto holding Public Consultation Meetings for Noise Bylaw Review

The City of Toronto’s Municipal Licensing & Standards (MLS) division is holding public consultations as part of its noise bylaw review. The review aims to introduce updates that reflect our growing and vibrant city, while enhancing the noise standards that protect the residents of Toronto.

Public consultations will take place during a series of five meetings between January 28 to February 06, 2019 that aim to present and seek feedback on developing Noise Bylaw updates.

The third meeting will be centered around the topic of ‘Amplified Sound’, and will be highly relevant to the music community in Toronto. Artists, venue operators, festival and music event organizers, and many other members of the live music industry are invited to attend and contribute to the process. The meeting will take place on January 30th at the Scadding Court Community Centre (707 Dundas St. West), from 6-8 p.m.

The music industry has played an important role in helping to influence policy-making at the City. In particular, the Toronto Music Advisory Council (TMAC) has had a significant impact on the development of various noise bylaw-related initiatives. Indeed, one of TMAC’s major accomplishments was its role in endorsing the adoption of a version of the ‘Agent of Change’ principle in Toronto – a landmark policy decision that will go towards helping protect live music venues in the city.

To see the full schedule of meetings: Noise Bylaw Review Public Consultation Schedule

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Amy Terrill addresses Auckland City of Music strategy launch

Aucklanders warmly welcomed Music Canada Executive Vice President, Amy Terrill, as the keynote speaker at their recent launch of the Auckland Music Strategy, Te Rautaki Puoro o Tāmaki Makaurau. Terrill provided an international perspective to the event, commenting on the growth of the Music Cities movement, Toronto’s experience, and providing some considerations for Auckland as it implements its three year strategy.

Read More: Auckland joins UNESCO creative cities network

The event, which took place at The Wintergarden, a venue within the historic Civic Theatre,  began with a Māori welcome speech and song, Miki whakatau & waiata, demonstrating the importance of music to the indigenous community,

“For Māori, music is a divine gift passed down by the gods.  It is embedded in traditional ceremony and preserves stories of the past.  These stories live on today, woven into our culture and city.”

Photo: Serene Stevenson

Other performers included Irene and Saia Folau.

Photo: Serene Stevenson

Auckland Council, one of the key partners in the initiative, was well represented with several elected councillors and key staff in the room and remarks by Mayor Phil Goff. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, unable to be there in person, expressed her support through a video message. PM Ardern recalled the first time she was “pitched” on the idea of Auckland as a UNESCO City of Music, and congratulated the industry and civic leaders who worked on the effort over the last two years.

Photo: Serene Stevenson

Photo: Serene Stevenson

The leading proponents of the initiative, Recorded Music NZ and APRA AMCOS, were represented in remarks by Anthony Healey.  The strategy cites Music Canada’s groundbreaking report, The Mastering of a Music City, and Healey noted the importance of this research in the steering committee’s efforts.

In her keynote remarks, Terrill congratulated Auckland on joining “the growing number of cities who are deliberately looking at ways to grow their music economy – many, like Auckland, recognizing a strong music community that has already been built organically.”

Photo: Serene Stevenson

She pointed to the value of the “network of cities, of music industry professionals, artists and academics – all who are sharing experience and wisdom to support these intentional efforts to grow the local music economy.”  

Throughout her remarks, Terrill provided concrete examples of strategies and tactics that have been deployed successfully in other parts of the world, some of which might be helpful for Auckland.  However, she was careful to point out that there is no “cookie cutter approach” and that the way the Auckland strategy is “rooted in what makes your city unique – the diversity of voices and sounds – your unique cultural identity, heritage and position in Australasia,” is very important.

“I see that the City of Auckland values the integration of arts and culture in everyday lives and is working to stimulate the participation of Aucklanders in the arts and employment in the creative sector.  I understand you aspire to be a city where “talent wants to live.” The development of this strategy and inclusion in the UNESCO Creative Cities network is a great first step,” Terrill said in closing. “Ngā mihi nui,” meaning I wish you well.

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Playback 2018: Executive Vice President Amy Terrill recaps Music Canada’s accomplishments from the last 12 months

On October 16, 2018, at The Great Hall in Toronto, Music Canada hosted Playback 2018, our annual industry dialogue and celebration.

Close to 100 members of the Canadian music industry were in attendance, including representatives from record labels, awards programs, royalty collectives and funding institutions, as well as artists, journalists, politicians and other government representatives.

Universal Music Canada President Jeffrey Remedios opened the event with a reflection on the state of the industry before Music Canada Executive Vice President Amy Terrill recapped Music Canada’s major accomplishments and new initiatives from the last 12 months.

Those accomplishments include our work to close the Value Gap in Canada, the launch of Music Canada Cares and its first program, The Three Rs Music Program, exciting partnerships with other industry groups, and our latest research report, Keys to a Music City: Examining the Merits of Music Offices, Boards, and Night Mayors.

You can watch Terrill’s full presentation below.

Near the end of the presentation, Terrill gave the audience a sneak peek of a just-released video taking you behind the scenes of the production process of our Gold and Platinum award plaques.

Following the annual review, Terrill invited Music Canada President and CEO Graham Henderson to the stage for a special announcement. Henderson shared preliminary results of Music Canada’s year-long, comprehensive governance review that Terrill had announced a year earlier at Playback 2017. To learn more about the changes resulting from the review, read our release.

Stay tuned for more video content from Playback 2018 in the coming days, including a keynote presentation from professor and author Debora Spar, and a ‘fireside chat’ between Recording Industry Association of America Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman and musician, label owner and festival founder, Miranda Mulholland.

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Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage releases new report examining cultural hubs and cultural districts

Earlier this month, the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage released a report entitled A Vision For Cultural Hubs And Districts In Canada. This report was the outcome of a Committee study on cultural districts and hubs in Canada, with a particular focus on determining the role they play in city building, their economic impacts, their effects on arts and culture, and how the federal government can better foster and support the development of these spaces.

The Committee held eight meetings earlier this year, with Music Canada’s Executive Vice President Amy Terrill appearing as a witness during this process.

The report provides a summary of the federal government’s current initiatives regarding cultural hubs and districts, and outlines various policy perspectives on key related topics including: the social and economic impact of cultural hubs and districts, the various collaborative approaches to developing cultural hubs and districts, barriers to securing funding, and the important role of infrastructure considerations. The report also contains 18 Committee recommendations to the Government of Canada.

One of the key issues discussed in the report is how exactly a cultural hub and cultural district can be defined. Witnesses throughout the eight Committee meetings provided a number of different interpretations of what constitutes a hub or district, offering definitions that ranged from fairly encompassing to more rigidly defined. Music Canada has submitted our own recommendation regarding how cultural hubs and cultural districts should be categorized, in addition to recommending that the Department of Canadian Heritage’s definition for cultural hubs be expanded. It was encouraging to see that the official Committee recommendation reflected this assertion, with the specific language calling on the Department to “broaden the definition of a cultural hub to, among others, consider new technological art forms.”

Another important topic highlighted in the report outlined the various collaborative approaches that can be taken to developing cultural hubs and cultural districts. Alongside the role of the government, partnerships have been found to be the key to the successful creation of projects relating to cultural hubs or districts. Indeed, as EVP Amy Terrill highlighted in her testimony before the Committee, collaboration between the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors is a critical component of cultivating a flourishing network of cultural spaces and sustaining a vibrant cultural sector.

Other key issues that were outlined in the report include:

  • The social impact of cultural hubs and cultural districts, such as their role in empowering local communities and contribution to fostering inclusion
  • The economic impact of cultural districts and hubs, with a particular focus on their role as economic drivers and tourism generators
  • The distinct roles of federal, provincial, and municipal governments in encouraging the development of cultural hubs and districts
  • The barriers to securing operational funding for cultural spaces
  • The potential of introducing tax measures and incentives to support the development of cultural hubs and districts, and other types of social public spaces
  • The challenges posed by a lack of affordable spaces in urban centres and the impact of rising real estate prices on public spaces

Read the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s full report on the House of Commons website.

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Toronto’s musical history recognized in Heritage Toronto Awards’ 2018 Historical Writing: Book nominees

Heritage Toronto has announced 18 nominees for its 2018 Historical Writing prize, recognizing English language non-fiction books or e-books. The Heritage Toronto Awards “showcase extraordinary contributions to the conservation and promotion of Toronto’s heritage, honouring individuals, groups and organizations for their efforts.”

Three of this year’s nominees for the Historical Writing: Book category pay homage to Toronto’s legendary musicians and music history:

Peter Goddard: The Great Gould

The Great Gould, with the support of the Glenn Gould Estate, draws on interviews with Glenn Gould to present a freshly revealing portrait of the musician’s unsettled life, his radical decision to stop playing concerts, his career as a radio innovator, and his deep response to the Canadian environment. “

Goddard is an accomplished Canadian music journalist and historian who won the 1973 JUNO Award for Music Journalist of the Year. He has also written books on Ronnie Hawkins, Triumph, David Bowie, and many more musicians, as well as his 1989 book Shakin’ All Over: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Years in Canada.

 

 

David McPherson: The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern

“From country and rockabilly to rock ‘n’ roll, punk, and more, the live music venue has evolved with the times and trends—always keeping pace with the music.  This book celebrates the legacy of the Horseshoe Tavern, and its importance to Toronto music culture today.”

David McPherson is an author specializing in music and golf. His most recent book, The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern explores the 70-year legacy of the storied Queen Street West venue. In an interview with NOW Magazine, McPherson said “When it comes to live music in North America, there are few places that can match the storied building at 370 Queen West. The Horseshoe is a beacon for music lovers, a pilgrimage place for those who love and understand its significance as part of Toronto’s rich musical landscape.”

 

Nicholas Jennings: Lightfoot

Lightfoot chronicles the life and career of Gordon Lightfoot, unquestionably one of Canada’s greatest songwriters. No matter how much his fame grew abroad, Lightfoot has always come home to Toronto.”

Nicholas Jennings is a renowned music journalist and historian who has written on music for Maclean’s, Billboard, the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail, among many others. His books on Canadian music include Before the Gold Rush: Flashbacks to the Dawn of the Canadian Sound (Penguin) and Fifty Years of Music: The Story of EMI Music Canada (Macmillan). He is passionate about the preservation of Toronto’s music history and in addition to his writing, he also leads walking tours on the musical history of Yorkville and the Yonge Street strip, and he was instrumental in the preservation of the historic “Sam the Record Man” sign which now hangs above Yonge Dundas Square.

 

In Music Canada’s globe-spanning research, music history was found to be an important element of building a Music City, and many Music Cities, including Liverpool, New Orleans and Nashville are steeped in music history. As Music Canada President and CEO Graham Henderson notes in The Mastering of a Music City, “A great Music City knows its music history – you need to know your own story.”

Congratulations to these outstanding Heritage Toronto Awards Historical Writing: Book nominees, and thank you for your work to preserve Toronto’s rich musical history. Congratulations are also due to all other nominees for the 2018 Historical Writing: Book Award – Bruce Newton, John Lorinc, Jane Farrow, Stephanie Chambers, Maureen Fitzgerald, Ed Jackson, Tim McCaskell, Rebecka Sheffield, Rahim Thawer, Tatum Taylor, Tim Morawetz, Scott Kennedy, Shawn Micallef, Robert C. Vipond, Roberto Perin, Phillip Gordon Mackintosh, Karolyn Smardz Frost, Lance Hornby, Adam Bunch, Timothy J. Stewart, Pedro Mendes, Terry Beauchamp, Trevor Cole and Gare Joyce.

The Heritage Toronto Awards ceremony takes place on Monday, October 29 at the Carlu (444 Yonge Street). Tickets can be purchased on the Heritage Toronto website.

 

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City of Vancouver approves measures to help boost music industry and creative sectors

On July 10th, Vancouver’s City Council voted to take steps towards implementing measures that better support the city’s music ecosystem. Council came to a unanimous decision to approve a grant of $400,000 to help provide funding for “Vancouver-based music-focused projects,” as well as to enhance the growth of accessible, vibrant cultural spaces within the city.

The approved recommendations arose from two reports presented to Council that provided policy suggestions for additional support for the city’s music community and industry: the Vancouver Music Strategy Interim Report and Making Space for Arts and Culture: 2018 Cultural Infrastructure Plan.

“Vancouver’s vibrant, diverse arts and culture community puts us on the map as a city with a thriving creative scene,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson in a media release. “These actions will crank up support for our growing arts and culture community, create and preserve important spaces, and focus the city on ensuring that creative people are able to stay and build a future in Vancouver.”

One of the report’s key recommendations that was approved is the establishment of a temporary full-time staff position within the City that will act as a resource and advocate for the music community, and be responsible for facilitating the completion of the final Vancouver Music Strategy report. Of the total $400,000 grant amount, $100,00 will be allocated towards supporting this staff position.

Other proposed future measures include the development of a Music Office and the creation of a Music Advisory Council. These policy measures echo those recommended in Music Canada’s groundbreaking 2015 report, The Mastering of a Music City.

Also included in the Music Strategy interim report were the findings of the recently released Vancouver Music Ecosystem Study, facilitated by the Music BC Industry Association, Creative BC, Sound Diplomacy, and other key partners.

Some of the study’s key findings include:

  • Economic Impact: the economic impact of music in Vancouver is over $690 million (per year).
  • Employment: the music ecosystem supports a total of 14,540 jobs, including 7,945 direct music jobs in Vancouver for musicians, venues, festivals, music publishers, music teachers, studios & sound engineers, managers and labels, and music press and marketing.
  • Income/Wages: the employment impact of Vancouver’s music industry is over $520M annually.

Read the full Vancouver Music Ecosystem report here.

 

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Toronto Music Advisory Council highlights key milestones at last meeting of the term

The Toronto Music Advisory Council’s (TMAC) final meeting of the year took place on June 20th, 2018. Committee members discussed a variety of critical issues and developments, with the Working Groups providing progress updates on a number of their agenda items.

TMAC Co-Chairs City Councillor Josh Colle and Spencer Sutherland also presented a written summary of TMAC’s key milestones during the meeting, emphasizing the accomplishments that helped achieve the committee’s priority items.

Key highlights of the summary document are featured below.

Creating opportunities to support local musicians: major accomplishments include initiatives like Arts/Music in the Parks; the Toronto Music Directory; the YYZ Live series; and City Hall Live. Several pilot programs are still yet to be launched, as they are pending official Council approval. Some of the most notable include a pilot program regarding musician loading zones, tour bus parking, and an entertainment zone study.

Addressing regulatory burdens of music venues: this includes policies that aim to streamline regulations and permit processes or remove unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles for venues and spaces.  One of the early major accomplishments was eliminating the enforcement against music venues for illegal postering in 2015. Additionally, TMAC has played an important role in the development of various ongoing noise bylaw-related initiatives at the City of Toronto, such as the development of a Terms of Reference for Noise Impact Studies for new developments within 120 metres of existing live music venues.

Measures to protect music venues: TMAC has long advocated for the development of policies that protect existing music venues, such as the establishment of a live music venue certification program and the proposed creation of tax benefits for local live venues.

However, one of TMAC’s major accomplishments was its role in endorsing the adoption of a version of the “Agent of Change” principle in Toronto. This principle has now been adopted and is a culmination of several recent decisions at City Hall.

Arising from PG29.4 TO Core: Downtown Plan Official Plan Amendment, the proposed measures are intended to encourage the retention of live music venues, by:

  • Ensuring that live music venues can continue to function without noise-related impact on new residential development, meaning that:
    • New live music venues located within Mixed Use Areas 1, 2, 3, 4 and Regeneration Areas will be designed and constructed to minimize noise from the premises and provide acoustic attenuation measures that would protect residential uses; and
    • New mixed-use developments located within Mixed Use Areas 1, 2, 3, 4 and Regeneration Areas will be designed and constructed to include acoustic attenuation measures on-site, or within the building design, to mitigate noise levels from adjacent indoor live music venues and from outdoor live music venues.
  • Requring an advisory to be implemented for newly developed residential units within 120 meters of a live music venue.

Supporting the development of a robust night-time economy: TMAC has advocated for the City of Toronto to take steps towards establishing measures to support live venues and other night-time operators. One of the major accomplishments is the implementation of an 18-month nightlife economy study, led by the Responsible Hospitality Institute.

Promoting Toronto internationally and fostering alliances with global music cities: notable accomplishments in this arena include the successful development of recurring initiatives, such as the Tale of Two Cities event series; an Austin-Toronto Music Business Summit that took place in 2016, with a new summit in development for late 2018; a series of SXSW activations between 2015 to 2018, and more.

 

The full summary document of TMAC’s accomplishments can be found here.

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